3 Stats That Prove the Cardinals Are Legitimate World Series Contenders in 2022

Larry Rupp
Three stats that prove the St. Louis Cardinals are legitimate World Series contenders in 2022.
Three stats that prove the St. Louis Cardinals are legitimate World Series contenders in 2022. / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The National League Central division is wide open heading into the 2022 MLB season and the St. Louis Cardinals will aim to take full advantage. New manager Oliver Marmol's squad has made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and look poised to make the jump to the next level.

In fact, St. Louis has odds set at +1800 to win it all in 2022, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. That is just barely below that of the divisional rival Milwaukee Brewers (+1600). Let's take a look at three stats that prove the Cardinals are legitimate World Series contenders.

St. Louis Cardinals World Series

1. Adam Wainwright's 36-20 Record Since 2019

People are going to have to come to the realization sooner rather than later that Adam Wainwright is still a shutdown pitcher at 40 years of age. The three-time All-Star owns a 36-20 record since the start of the 2019 season and posted a 3.05 ERA across 32 starts in 2021. The Cardinals re-signed the veteran hurler to a one-year deal to lead their starting rotation once again. Wainwright's impact on the younger players on the roster is worth being noted here, too. Jack Flaherty and newcomer Steven Matz are in the position to learn so much from one of the most consistent pitchers in the game.

2. 51 Home Runs Allowed by Bullpen in 2021

The Cardinals bullpen certainly experienced some ups and downs last season. Alex Reyes struggled to control his walk rate, while Giovanny Gallegos racked up a career-high 14 saves. Overall, St. Louis' bullpen unit quietly gave up the fewest home runs in the league (51). That goes to show just how dominant the relief pitchers became over the second half of the year. Gallegos is back to take over as closer as setup men Genesis Cabrera (3.73 ERA) and Jake Woodford (50 strikeouts) look to build off career years. Finding a way to limit the long ball once again would put the Cardinals in a great spot to succeed in close games.

3. Tyler O'Neill's 34 Home Runs in 2021

The explosive breakout at the plate from outfielder Tyler O'Neill in 2021 was a major reason the Cardinals were able to sneak into the postseason. The 26-year-old came out of nowhere to smack 34 home runs, which tied for the team lead. Keep in mind O'Neill had hit a combined 21 home runs in his first three seasons with St. Louis. His ability to leave the yard at any given time gives the Cardinals three truly scary hitters alongside Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. That is a trio no opposing pitcher will want to face in the late innings this season.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.